Don’t let an abnormal EKG stop you from getting insured!
Finding affordable life insurance with heart disease will be easy with this guide.
Whether you have a history of abnormal ECG’s or just learned about it, we’re here to help you.
Abnormal EKG Life Insurance Overview
Were you approved for a more expensive rate than expected?
Or worse…you were just declined due to an abnormal EKG?
It happens more often than you think.
In this guide, we’ll clear up the misconceptions and show you how to find the best life insurance rates based on your individual heart condition.
What does an abnormal EKG mean?
The abbreviation EKG or ECG have the same meaning and represent an electrocardiogram.
EKG and ECG are interchangeable.
An EKG measures the electrical activity of your heart and graphs it to paper that looks like this.
Each square on this grid represents 1 second of time and is used to measure your heart’s rhythm, heart rate, P Wave, PR interval, QRS interval, T wave, QT interval and ST segment.
Abnormal EKG readings occur when there is a variation in one of the heart’s normal rhythms in your heart’s electrical system.
Whereas a normal ECG may look like this:
What does an abnormal EKG look like?
Abnormal EKG readings take many shapes depending on the underlying heart issue.
Some examples of cardiovascular diseases that may cause abnormal EKG readings include:
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Atrial Flutter
- AV Blocks
- Bundle Branch Blocks
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Electrolyte Imbalance
- Heart Attack
- Heart Rate Abnormalities
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC)
- Ventricular Tachycardia
- Ventricular Fibrillation
The impact on life insurance underwriting depends on what type of abnormal heart rhythm you have and your overall cardiac history.
How Does an abnormal EKG Affect Life Insurance?
If you have a history of heart conditions, the underlying heart issue will determine the availability and pricing for life insurance.
As part of our service, we’ll review your medical history and family history of heart disease if any and will reach out to companies using a “quick quote” process.
A quick quote works well especially for high risk health issues simply because it allows us to shop multiple life insurance companies quickly (3-4 days) for preliminary quotes.
Once we receive the preliminary quotes, we can review and proceed to underwriting if interested.
Abnormal EKG from Life Insurance Exams
You may discover that you have an abnormal EKG from your paramed exam.
Each life insurer has its own set of underwriting guidelines that determine if and when an electrocardiogram is required.
The ECG requirement is based on your age and the amount of life insurance.
We’ll share the guidelines with you upfront so you’ll know if an EKG is required.
If required, the examiner will bring a portable EKG machine with them.
The ECG is painless and takes a few minutes to complete.
Once complete, the ECG is sent to underwriting.
The underwriter will review and interpret the EKG.
If it appears abnormal, it is sent to a medical director at the insurance company for further review.
A medical director is a physician who specializes in insurance medicine.
Once reviewed, the insurance company will make one of the following decisions:
Approved as you applied
If you are approved as we applied, accept the offer and be done with it.
The carrier considers the abnormality to be minor enough to disregard.
We’ll get you a copy of the EKG and our advice is to have your doctor take a look at it.
Approved at a higher price than you applied for
You may get approved, but the rate is more expensive than expected due to the ECG result.
As much as you may be upset about a more expensive table rated offer, you should accept that offer at least on a temporary basis.
The reason why is that if further testing such as a stress test reveals a significant heart issue, the offer you have now may be the best available.
If not, we can re-shop the market and find a better policy after you follow-up with your doctor.
Postponed until cardiac testing is complete
When you are postponed until further testing is complete, underwriters have a significant concern about the underlying heart issue.
The best course of action is to take the EKG to a cardiologist and let them advise you of next steps.
If you require surgery, a pacemaker or other treatment, we’ll revisit life insurance once you recover.
Your doctor may perform more extensive tests that are normal and we’ll use that information to get life insurance for you.
Declined for life insurance
When you’re declined for life insurance, it’s important that you visit with your physician as soon as possible.
This tells us that there is a significant concern that needs to be reviewed by a cardiologist.
The type of underlying heart issue will determine what type of life insurance will be available and when life insurance is available in the future.
Keep in mind that our life insurance service is free, and there is never any pressure or obligation.
We’ll show you which life insurance companies are best and what to expect in terms of price. We’ll help you determine how much life insurance to get and what type.
Should you change your mind at any point, simply tell us to close your file. Thank you.